We had snow – just a wee bit! Plus a walk in Dunvegan Woods

Short walks – a bit of snow and fun for the “girlies” – that about sums up the past ten days.

We walked a different path in Eynort Forest the other day. Past our usual stopping place and on towards the end of the track – a gate stopped us from going any further. We needed a change really from the predictable. The weather had  been foul previously but the day we decided to do this walk was relatively ok – as mid January days go.

There’s an old track best followed in winter/spring if you are here then, as at any other time this is too overgrown to even find. Right now all the understory vegetation has died down so its a wee bit of an adventure really.

This “path” is off the main circular trail so if you find yourself on it – go on – explore! Its fun wandering about where no one else goes.

The sheep have finally been moved out of the field behind my house. So after a couple of very rainy days and a wee dump of snow we ventured into this gloriously free and open space! Wee note for dog owners: if when you visit there are sheep in this field you may only be able to use it if your dog is kept on a leash.

One of the sweet joys of winter – yes there are some – are the late sunrises. When we’re not wrapped in low cloud, these can be quite spectacular even when the cloud layer is relatively low. Whats more, you don’t have to get up early to see them either as they happen around the 09:00 mark – really quite civilised I think.

The other joy is snow, beautifully cold and dramatic, it can sweep in over the hills, draping everything in a cool white blanket. It transforms the mountains into a winter wonderland and the forests and fields  into alien landscapes where you get to see things you normally wouldn’t, due to the sharp contrasts between light and dark.

There are rabbits footprints that wander up and over my lawn, and when the snow is thick enough on the ground, and if I can beat the dogs outside, the light and delicate tracks of birds can also be seen as they search for food – Hooded Crows, Blackbirds, Robins and Thrushes especially! (There will be more about the birds in this garden in my next blog as this weekend is RSPB – Big Garden Bird Watch)

Come Sunday it was very cold but dry and sunny so I drove the “girlies” to Dunvegan Woods. These are just off the carpark at Dunvegan Castle – you can’t miss the entrance and it’s a nice walk, whichever route round you end up taking.

Again, as in Eynort Forest, if you see a path off to the left or right, follow it. One such path leads down to the Castle River and then back up to the main path  which turns into a forest track and goes for some way across the managed Haelaval Forest. If you look at an Ordnance Survey map for Dunvegan you will see the path clearly marked. Another such path on the way back to the car park via a right hand fork, leads off to the left and takes an indirect route through trees and eventually opens out onto the road that passes the Castle. Turn right and it leads back to the car park.

Of course you can carry on walking along the main path and it will bring you out onto a road to Dunvegan Farm and then, turning left, onto the road that leads back to the car park, it’s slightly longer that’s all. Whilst your dog may have been off the lead in the woodland, dogs do need to be put back on the lead once the path itself runs out as cars etc. can be travelling quite fast along the lanes and there are several bends, so keep your dog close.

This walk like many others can be as long as you wish it to be more or less. But it’s a nice wee walk if you have a dog who has been walking patiently with you through the Castle Gardens and now needs a decent run.

On a hot summers day it is beautifully cool through here and the woodland smells of damp earth and warm grass are quite soothing.  Watch out for a photo blog exclusively about this lovely, ever changing woodland through the seasons.




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